Thursday, May 11, 2017

622,000 Iraqis displaced by Mosul military operations: UN

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that some 622,000 people have been displaced from the north Iraqi city of Mosul since the start of the military operations by the Iraqi government forces to drive out the terrorist Islamic State (IS) terrorists, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters at UN headquarter Wednesday.

Since the beginning of the Mosul military operations in October 2016, some 622,000 people have been cumulatively displaced from the area, Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.

The Nimrud bridge, 30 km south of Mosul, was re-opened to foot traffic on Tuesday, and on Wednesday it is planned to be re-opened to vehicles as well, he said.

"The bridge had been closed since 2 May as a result of high water levels caused by heavy rains," the spokesman said.

"Closure of the bridge had added further complexity to the Mosul response operation, forcing humanitarians to pre-position supplies on the western bank of the Tigris and find alternative channels for medical evacuations," he added.

Mosul witnessed a fighting between the Iraqi government forces and the IS (Da'esh) terrorists.

The Iraqi government force's advance toward Mosul came after the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on Feb. 19 the start of an offensive to drive the extremist militants out of the western side of Mosul, locally known as the right bank of Tigris River which bisects the city.

The military operations, which started in October last year, made progress by liberating the east part of Mosul from the IS terrorists.

Mosul, 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, has been under IS control since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq's northern and western regions.

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